Playing with blocks is an important way to further develop your child’s physical and cognitive skills. Some of the skills that they will develop while they are engaging in play with blocks will include their understanding of classification, size, colours, weight, balance, counting, height, and the list of skills goes on. The most important thing to understand is that the blocks need to be age appropriate. When purchasing a set of blocks keep the child’s age and interests in mind. A younger child does well with wooden blocks, duplo blocks, mega blocks, and simple sets that make building and exploring fun. Don’t worry about about the letters or numbers on the blocks, as those are skills that will develop, just by seeing them over and over again on the blocks. Add some props to your child’s block play such as, a construction hat, trucks, cars, buckets, dolls, put them in the bathtub at bath time, because changing the setting can inspire your child to use their imagination. When your child is happy playing with a good set of blocks that you have invested in, you can be happy in the knowledge that you have invested in your child’s intellectual future. It does not get much better than that, as it all happened as they were having fun playing.
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Dramatic play is such an important part of how children learn. They use the information gained from real life situations and relive it through play. Although it may seem insignificant to an adult, the fact is, it is important for the development of social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills. As children are having fun pretending to be a doctor, a mom, dad or dog etc. they are using already acquired information and inputting into their pretend play. All the materials they use enhance their imaginations. Giving children a pretend kitchen set, drill set, cash register, shopping cart etc. allows them to act out scenarios from their life into their play. As they age they enhance the enjoyment of the play by including other children and sharing ideas on what and how they want to do play. By giving them age appropriate materials we are opening all kinds of possibilities for learning and with the holiday season upon us, you should really think before you buy. Be sure what you purchase is about the child not what you want the child to have. There is no use purchasing a bunch of toys that never get used. Be wise and remember every child has individual interests. If your child loves playing house, get them a kitchen set or if they love shopping get them a shopping cart etc. and then watch them play. It is amazing to watch. Enjoy!
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